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promises encourage us. Thou art nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and savest auch as be of a contrite spirit Thou hast provided and revealed a Mediator, who has not only obeyed but magnified the law and made it honourable; and Thou hast made us accepted in the beloved. And we behold an innumerable multitude returning from thy throne successful, rejoicing ami encouraging us to go forward. They were not, though all guilt and indigence, refused nor upbraided; but freely obtained pardon and holiness and righteousness and strength, and were blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ
O look Thou upon us, and be merciful unto us, as Thou usest to do unto those that love thy name! Convince us of sin both in its penalty and in its pollution; and may we mourn over it with a godly sorrow. Give us that faith by which we shall be enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and believing may we have life through his name.
And may we not only have life, but have it more abundantly. We often question the reality of our grace; but the imperfections of our religion are too obvious not to be acknowledged, and too aggravated not to be deplored. Our souls cleave unto the dust; quicken Thou us according to thy word. Strengthen in us the things that are ready to die. May we not only live in the Spirit, but walk in the Spirit By holy resemblances may we put on the Lord Jesus Christ May the same mind be in us which was also in Him; and may we feel it to bo our dignity and delight to go about doing good.
And as He suflere.l for us, leaving us an example that we should tread in his steps; may we learn to suffer like Him. When reviled, may we revile not again, but commit ourselves to Him that judgeth righteously. Whoever may be the instrument of our grief, may we never lose sight of an over-ruling agency in preparing and presenting it; but be able to say. The cup which my Father giveth me shall I not drink it? In patience may we possess our souls. May we be calm to mquire, wherefore Thou contendest with us. Let not weeping hinder sowing; nor sorrow, duty.
We live in a world of changes, and have here no continuing city—May we seek one to come; anl have our minds kept in perfect peace, being stay xl upon God. Be with us to the end of our journey; and after honouring Thee by the life we have lived, may we glorify Thee by the death we shall die. when heart and flesh fail, be Thou the strength of onr heart and our portion for ever; at death may we fall asleep in Jesus; and in the morning of the resurrection, may He change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like his own glorious body; and so may we be for ever with the Lord.
Who can understand his errors 1 Forgive, O God, the sins of the past day, in thought, word, and deed, against thy divine majesty. We bless thee for our preservation in our going out and our coming in, and in all our ways: and we bless Thee for all the supplies and indulgences which thy good providence has afforded us.
And now, O Thou keeper of Israel, we commit our souls and our bodies to thy allsufficient care. Suffer no evil to befall our porsons, and no plague to come nigh our dwelling. May our sleep be sweet; or if Thou holdest our eyes waking, may we remember Thee upon our bed, and meditate on Thee in the night-watches.
And with the innumerable company who never slumber nor sleep, and who rest not day and night, we would join in ascribing blessing and honour and glory and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, the most high over all the earth!—When we consider thy majesty and thy purity, and reflect upon our meanness and guilt, how shall we come before the Lord, or bow before the high God? We are unworthy of thy notice, and have rendered ourselves justly obnoxious to the curse of thy holy law: and wert Thou to judge us according to our desert—the most innocent periods of our life, and the devoutest services in which we have ever been engaged, would make us shrink back with dread and despair from thy presence. But we are encouraged to approacli Thee, by the revelation Thou hast given us of thyself as the Lord God gracious and merciful; the invitations and promises of thy word; and the mediation of thy dear Son. We are assured that he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and being raised from the dead, entered into the holy place, there to appear in the presence of God for us. We rejoice that we have now an advocate with the Father to plead our cause, and a great high priest over the house of God, to introduce our persons and our services.
May we therefore draw near in full assurance "of faith, believing that all things are now ready; that we are as welcome as we are needy; and that the blessings we implore are as gracious as they are needful . Yea Thou delightest in mercy, and hast not only permitted, but commanded us to ask and receive that our joy may be full. O let us not refuse to be comforted: let us not reject the counsel of God against ourselves. Suffer us not, after provoking Thee by our rebellion, to oflend Thee still more by our unbelief. May we honour thy goodness by our confidence in thy veracity, and come and take of the water of life freely. May we wait for no qualifications to entitle us to those provisions which must be bought without money and without price; but may we come as we are—guilty to be justified, unholy to be renewed* blind to be enlightened, weak to be strengthened, and indigent to be relieved and enriched. As Thou art presenting to us, in the offers of the gospel, thy unspeakable gift, may we receive Christ Jesus the T/ird. May we receive Him immediately without delay, cordially without reluctance, and impartially without exception; feeling our need of, and acquiescing in, all his oilier.-;, relations, influences, and blessings.
As thou art well pleased in thy beloved Son, may it appear that we are well pleased with Him. May we love his salvation, and glory in his cross; may we admire his character, and pant after his likeness. May we judge of our union with Him, by our being new creatures; and of our freedom from all condemnation, by our walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit May we try our principles by our practice, and our faith by our works. May the origin and certainty of our hope appear in its tendency: may it purify us from sin, wean us from the world, and cause us to live with our conversation in heaven.
Blessed with a well-founded persuasion that when He who is our life shall appear, we shall also appear with Him in glory, may we bear with patience the trials attached to this present time, and weep as if we wept not And knowing our obligation to thy grace, which has delivered our souls from the lowest hell, and is infallibly conducting us to such a vastness of felicity, may we be principally concerned to walk before the Lord in the land of the living, and to show forth all his praise. Whether therefore we eat or drink, or whatever we do, may we do all to the glory of God.
But we cannot trust in our own hearts: we dare not rely upon our convictions and purposes—they have often betrayed us. We can only serve Thee in thy own strength. We can walk no further than Thou leadest us; we can stand no longer than Thou boldest us. We therefore renounce self-dependence; and desire to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might Let thy grace be suflicient for us, in the duties and events of the day into which we have entered. May we abide with God in our respective callings. Whether we are alone, or in company, may we be anxious to gain good, and to do good. May we be serious without gloom, and cheerful without levity, and use the world as not abusing it
And now unto Him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Saviour, be
glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
O God, the day is thine; the night also is thine. Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. The heavens declare thy glory; the earth is full of thy riches, and so is the great and wide sea. Thou art the maker, and sustainer, and proprietor of all things. We are the creatures of thy power, and the beneficiaries of thy bounty. But we have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and are not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which Thou hast showed us. We are of those that rebel against the light; for we have resisted the dictates of our consciences; the demands of thy law; the admonitions of thy providence; and the calls of the gospel of peace. We have made light of those things which angels desire to look into: we have neglected thy great salvation; and we deserve that thy wrath should come upon us as the children of disobedience.
Yet we are in the land of the living, and under a dispensation of hope. We flee for refuge to that dear Saviour who said, Deliver from going down into the pit, I have found a ransom: and who himself bore our sin in his own body on the tree. O that we mav be found in Him, and know the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suflerings, being mode conformable unto his deathMay we not only be justified by his blood, and saved from wrath through Him; but may we derive from Him an influence, that shall subdue our iniquities, and change us into his own image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the I/jnl.
Deliver us, we pray Thee, from the views and dispositions of men of the world who have their portion in this life. May we never look for that on earth, which can only be found in heaven. Born from above and bound for glory, may we feel the heart of a stranger, and pass the time of our sojourning here in fear. Reminded—and O how often are we reminded!—that here we have no continuing city, may we seek one to come: and in all the changing scenes of time, know in ourselves that in heaven we have a better anil an enduring substance.
In our journeyings through a vale of tears, cast us not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from us. Be Thou always within sight or within call—for how often shall we have to address Thee! To thy wisdom we must repair for direction, or we shall every moment go astray. Thy power is our only safety. O thou that savest by thy right hand them that put their trust in Thee, from those that rise up against them, keep us as the apple of thine eye, and hide us under the shadow of thy wing. Be thou our strength in weakness, and our victory in conflict We dare not say, we never will deny Thee, but O grant that we never may! Establish our hearts with grace, and deliver our feet from railing; and may we be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ
These are great blessings for us to ask— but we are undone for ever without them— and Thou hast encouraged us to hope. We plead thy command and thy promise—' Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.' No suppliant, however unworthy or guilty, was ever rejected or insulted at thy footstool. And we come in the name of Him who made intercession for the transgressors. Him Thou hearest always—and to Him, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be praises for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, Thou art great, and greatly to be feared. And Thou art also merciful and gracious; long-suffering and abundant in goodness and in truth. May we so feel our sinfulness as to be humbled in the dust before thee, and filled with self-condemnation and self-despair; but let us not shrink back from thy presence, and be afraid to place our faith and hope in the God of love. Help us to remember, that if we have no claim on the footing of desert, we can plead thy promise and invitation; and that if the blessings we want are infinitely great, they are dispensed as gifts whose freeness delights in the unworthiness of the receiver.
We therefore would neither deny nor palliate our guilt- We know there is evil enough in one sin to plunge us into perdition; but our offences are more in number than the sand; and they have been attended with every aggravation, derivable from light and love, means and mercies. Thou hast called, and we have refused; Thou hast stretched out thy hand, and we have not regarded. How often hast Thou wooed and awed, blessed and chastised us—and yet we refused to return! O Lord, pardon our iniquity, for it is great Let the free gift be of many offences unto justification of life; and where sin has abounded may grace much more abound.
And as we cannot serve or enjoy Thee, unless our nature be changed as well as our state, O save us by the washing of regeneration, and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost Deliver us from the dominion as well as the curse of sin ; and from the love of it as well as the dominion. May we reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive
unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. May we view holiness as the beauty and the dignity of the soul, and long after greater degrees of conformity to the will and the image of God. May our hope purify us; and our religious comforts stimulate as well as relieve. May we never slumber, and like the pilgrim lose our roll; never sleep, and like Saul be robbed of our spear and our cruse. May we watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. When we grow indolent and careless, awaken us by lively apprehensions of thy presence, and of the eternal world, on the borders of which we perpetually move; may we feel the infinite importance of improving the few transient periods intervening between us and death; may we daily and hourly answer some of the grand purposes of life and religion. May every place and every company be the better for us. May we diffuse knowledge and happiness by our conversation, example, and influence; and, like our Lord and Saviour, go about doing good.
Whatever advantages we possess, may we never forget that this is not our rest May we arise and depart hence, not by quitting our stations, or undervaluing the duties attached to them, but by rising above the world as our portion, setting our affections on things above, and having our conversation in heaven. Expecting a succession of encounters in passing through an enemy's land, may we take to us the whole armour of God; and looking for thorns and briers in our marchings through a wilderness, may our feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Fit us for every changing scene: and in all the events that would alarm or perplex us, may our minds be stayed upon God, and our thoughts be established. May we remember that trials from thy hand are blessings in disguise, and that when they cqme to be unveiled, and we can view them in their designs and effects, they will draw forth our gratitude and praise. Till we can walk by sight, enable us to walk by faith ; and may nothing weaken our persuasion, that all thy ways are mercy and truth to thy people, and that all things work together for good to them that love Thee.
We would not forget those that are in affliction—Do not Thou, O God, forget them. Whatever be their losses or distresses, help them to say, Yet the Lord thinketh upon me. May they know, that thy thoughts towards them are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to bring them to an expected end; though it may be by a painful passage. Comfort those who are on beds of languishing. Enter the house of mourning. Be the father of the fatherless, and the husband of the widow, and the friend and helper of the poor and I —and have mercy upon all men.
Our Father, &c.
O God—Thou art glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, continually doing wonders. And it is not one of the least of thy wonderful works that we are yet on this side an awful eternity, and not reaping the due reward of our deeds. We look on each other this evening with astonishment, and exclaim, It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. Our whole life has been a scene of provocation against thy divine majesty: and if we, with all our ignorance and selflove, can see so much depravity in ourselves, what must have presented itself to thy view —O Thou, who knowest all things, in whose sight the very heavens are not clean, and who seest more pollution even in our duties than we ever found in our sins! There is no health in us. We have no works or worthiness to excite thy regard; and if ever we are saved, it must be according to thy own purpose and grace, given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
We come to Thee in the dear name of Him who loved us and gave himself for us; who magnified the law and made it honourable; who put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and now ever liveth to make intercession for us. This foundation Thou thyself hast laid in Zion, and thy word assures us, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not be confounded. We hope our dependence upon Him is not a vain reliance, because we love his service as well as his sacrifice, and long to wear his image as well as to be justified by his blood. We hope we are willing to deny ourselves, and take up our cross and follow Him—in the regeneration—and whithersoever he goeth.
O make us partakers of that salvation which is designed to deliver us from our sins, and to bring us into the glorious liberty of the children of God! Put thy laws into our minds, and write them in our hearts. Render our obedience to thy will holily natural and delightful to us. Rectify all our principles, and give us clear, and consistent, and influential views of divine truth. May we never undervalue or neglect any part of thy revealed will; but regard the practice the gospel enjoins, as well as the doctrine it exhibits; prize its commands as well as its promises, and cultivate such a disposition as will render every religious duty a spiritual privilege.
Sanctify us in everv relation, office, transaction, and condition m life. Keep us if we prosper, from being exalted above measure, and if exercised with adversity, sufler us not to be swallowed up of over-much sorrow. May divine grace preserve the balance of the mind in all our varying circumstances, and teach us, in whatsoever state we are, not only to be content, hut to glorify God, and be an edifying example to those around us.
May we always be principally concerned for soul-prosperity, and be willing to submit to any means however trying, that thy wisdom shall judge necessary to promote and secure it May we so pass through things temporal as not to miss those that are eternal at last, or to lose sight of them for a moment now. Too long have our feet and our hands been in the mire; O disengage us, purify us, elevate us: our souls cleave unto the dust, quicken Thou us according to thy word. May none of thy mercies be lost upon us; but may they prove the means of exciting our gratitude, warming our devotion, and encouraging our confidence. May none of our trials be unimproved; but may they all embitter sin, wean us from the world, and endear to us the scriptures, the throne of grace, and the sympathy of that Almighty friend who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
Let none of our religious opportunities be unsanctified; may we be thankful for the frequency of their recurrence; may we gladly avail ourselves of them, and instead of resting in the mere outward performance, may we be concerned to worship Thee in spirit and in truth, and to obtain from thy word all the benefits it is intended and adapted to afford.
For this purpose, we implore thy blessing on the solemnities of the Sabbath which is so soon to open upon us. May we in the morning awake with Thee ; and begin, go through and end the day, in thy faith, fear and love May we have satisfactory evidence m our own minds, that we do not wait upon Thee in vain; and may our profiting appear unto all men.
And thus by all the discipline of thy family, and the ordinances of thy house, may we grow in grace, and in our meetness for the mheritance of the saints in light And when the Saturday evening of life itself shall arrive, and we are called to retreat from every mortal care, may we close the period of toil and trouble by failing asleep in Jesus—and open our eyes on the rest that remains for the people of God—and enter the temple above to go no more out And may the grace of, &c . Amen.
O THor King eternal, immortal, invisible, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, and whom no man hath seen or can see. Thou art incomprehensible, and the highest Archangel cannot find Thee out unto perfection. Yet Tnou hast been pleased to reveal thyself; and by means of
thy words we behold Thee in every character and relation that can suit oar necessities, or encourage our hope. Thy throne is in the heavens, and thy kingdom ruleth over all; and all nations before Thee are as nothing; yet Thou condescendest to regard the things that are done in the earth, and despisest not the prayer even of the destitute. Thou art exalted above all blessing and praise: our goodness extendeth not to Thee—but unless thine be extended to us, we are undone for ever. Without Thee we can do nothing; we are nothing. In Thee we live and move and have our being. The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. We are universally indigent and dependent: but as Thou art able, so Thou art willing to take the charge of us; and here we are the living to praise Thee, and to acknowledge that goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives.
We bless Thee that Thou hast regarded our souls as well as our bodies, and no less provided for our future interests than our present When there was no eye to pity us, Thou didst remember us in our low estate; and when there was no arm to rescue, Thou wast pleased to lay help on one that is mighty. Thou hast sent thy own Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. To Him may we turn our believing regards, and find in Him the wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, which as perishing sinners we need. In all our approaches to Thee, may we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him. May we know that He has borne our grief and carried our sorrow; and be able to rejoice in him as our sacrifice, our sympathizing friend, our almighty helper, and our lovely example. May we drink into his spirit May we transcribe the excellencies of his character into our own. May we place our feet in the very prints of his steps, and follow him in the regeneration, till we shall be perfectly like him, and see him as he is.
We desire to acknowledge Thee in the dispensations of thy providence; and to own thy agency in all the events that befkll us whether pleasing or painful. Thou hast a right to govern us; and thou knowest what will best advance our welfare. May we commit our way unto the Lord, and be able to say at thy foot-stool in unfeigned submission, Here I am, let Him do what seemeth Him good. If darkness veil thy dealings with us, may we trust and not be afraid; believing that what we know not now we shall know hereafter, and that the developement of thy conduct will issue in perfect satisfaction and praise.
We bless Thee for the institutions of religion, in the use of which Thou hast pro
mised to draw near to those who draw near to Thee. We rejoice in another of the days of the Son of man. May we call oft' our minds from the cares of the world, and attend upon the Lord without distraction. Quicken and elevate our souls, that rising above the formality of devotion, we may come even to thy seat, and enjoy a little of the blessedness of those that have entered the temple above, and are singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. We are going to assemble in the house of prayer—pour upon us the spirit of grace and of supplication, and rank us in the number of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. We are going to the house of praise—awaken in us every grateful and cheerful emotion, and may we speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts unto the Lord. We are repairing to the house of instruction—enable us to receive the kingdom of God as a little child. Teach us of thy ways. Lead us into all truth. And let us bo neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
For this purpose, let thy presence go with us; and let thy word come to us, not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. Bless all the churches of the faithful; and the ministers of the everlasting gospel, of every name, and of every nation. Clothe thy priests with salvation, and let thy saints shout aloud for joy. Remember our country in all its lawful mterests, domestic and foreign. Bless the kmg as supreme, all subordinate rulers, and all ranks and degrees of men among us. Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children, and let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. Establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea the work of our hands establish Thou it
Our Father, &c,
When we consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained; Lord, what is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him! In thy sight the heavens are not clean; and thou chargest thine angels with folly—With what truth therefore may we, and with what humiliation ought we to exclaim, Behold we are vile!
And yet we believe—help Thou our unbelief—that Thou waitest to be gracious unto us, and art exalted to have mercy upon us. And Christ also has once suffered for sins,